The Harbaugh Carousel

With the Dolphins deciding to stick with current coach Tony Sparano and the Broncos pulling out of trying to interview Jim Harbaugh it seems likely that Harbaugh will remain in the Bay Area.  Unfortunately for the 49er Faithful Harbaugh might be returning to Stanford after meeting with university officials on Thursday.  Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will not enter the NFL draft and will return next season to lead the Cardinal offense.  Since the end of the Orange Bowl on Monday it was thought that with so many suitors Harbaugh could go anywhere and command a contract that would make him the highest paid coach in the NFL.  Cleary it is not about the money as Harbaugh did not accept the Dolphins offer to pay him over $7 million a year.  It is known that Harbaugh wants to have control and say in personnel moves and roster decisions.  The Dolphins already have general manager Jeff Ireland and probably didn’t concede to Harbaugh demands.  I think it was all about the money and control of the roster at the beginning of this carousal but with Luck returning to Stanford, Harbaugh is now thinking National Championship.  Unlike a college prospect deciding whether or not to enter the draft there is no risk in Harbaugh returning to Stanford.  National Champions or not Harbaugh will have opportunities next season to entertain offers from NFL teams to become their next head coach. 

Landing Harbaugh seemed like a no-brainer for the 49ers.  But now it seems the no brains in the front office are to blame for not having Harbaugh walk away with a signed contract after their five hour meeting on Wednesday.  Numerous reports have said Harbaugh has been warned of the 49ers front office structure.  Translation:  Do you really want to go an organization lead by a 29-year old who was handed the keys to the team by his parents with no previous experience in the NFL (outside of the 49ers) and who has no proven track record since he took over?  Do you want to have a general manager in Trent Baalke who has no previous experience being a general manager?  Not to mention the 49ers low ball offer of $4.5 million per year which the Dolphins almost doubled and which Stanford has said to have matched and could increase with incentives. 

This is your San Francisco 49ers.  A team with talent on offense (minus the quarterback) and defense (minus a shutdown corner), an owner way out of his league who shows his inexperience with every word he says and text message sent and a general manager who couldn’t get Harbaugh to sign on the dotted line.  If the 49ers lose out on the Harbaugh sweepstakes York and Baalke will need to hire a head coach along the lines of a John Gruden.  But with the way the 49ers front office has handled wooing Harbaugh the 49ers will most likely end up hiring their third or fourth choice at head coach.  I hope the Harbaugh carousal ends soon.  I can’t count the number of times I have checked various web sites so I know the minute that news breaks of where Harbaugh is headed.  My guess is he stays at Stanford.

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Tags: Jed York Jim Harbaugh San Francisco 49ers Coach Trent Baalke

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